Close

Choose a country

United KingdomEnglish
South AfricaEnglish
IndiaEnglish
InternationalEnglish

The Changing Customer Journey Makes Hard-Sell Sales Obsolete

Blog
11th October 2016

hard sell

I recently read a great example of some awful customer service failures at American car dealers in Forbes magazine. Forbes writer Blake Morgan described one disaster after another – they are all so terrible it’s almost amusing. Incidents included:

• A salesperson treating a female customer with less respect than her male companion, because obviously the male partner will decide which car to buy (!)
• Sales staff knowing little to nothing about their own company and products
• A crowd of ten sales guys who swooped on any browsing customer
• A salesperson offering an opinion, rather than information

It surprises me that in 2016 car dealers still operate like this, but I know it’s true because I’ve had all of these experiences myself. Blake mentioned that it would be useful if the sales teams could have iPads and the training required to help customers with online searches and information, but I think there is an additional element to this story.

The process of buying or leasing a new car has changed dramatically. It used to be essential to tour the showrooms, sit in the vehicles, and talk to the salesperson as they make their pitch; now many customers are engaging with high-price items like cars in a different way.

There is much more information out there. The manufacturers all publish extensive data, photographs, and video. Auto magazines publish information. Review sites feature extensive reports from owners. And of course, the social networks let you talk to friends and family when thinking about something like a new car. I don’t need to leave home to narrow my selection down to perhaps two vehicles.

I know that in the past I have even narrowed down my options to the exact vehicle I wanted. When I walked into the dealer I just said: “I’d like to buy one of these, can we talk about the colour and sunroof options please?” It must have been the easiest sale ever for that dealer, because I had done my research before I arrived.

I’m sure that many other customers are finding this too, and it changes how the dealers and auto manufacturers need to relate to potential customers. It’s no good to decide that publishing videos of cars soaring around mountains or driving fast on a track is enough. Customers want real information, reviews, and the opinion of other owners of the same vehicle.

Potential buyers can find all of this online anyway, but smart auto companies will realise that the sales process has changed. Products like cars have a very different customer journey today than they did in the past, and brands that can help to shape the initial conversation in a positive way will be the ones that succeed.

What do you think about the changes to the customer journey in the last few years? Is the hard sell dead? Leave a comment or contact me on LinkedIn and let me know.


Helen Murray
Article by: Helen Murray

News & Insights

Webhelp Payment Services
Solution Designer
Service Provider
Technology Enabler
Blog
Whitepaper launch: Reimagining service for the new world

As the urgency for change and transformation intensifies in the post COVID landscape, Craig Gibson CCO for Webhelp UK, shares his thoughts on the launch of a new Whitepaper, a collaboration with Gobeyond Partners, part of the Webhelp Group.  At Webhelp, we have a commitment to use customer experience management to create positive and emotionally significant consumer/client...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
Whitepaper
Whitepaper: Reimagining service for the new world

A framework for tomorrow’s successful customer-focused operating models As the urgency for change and transformation intensifies in the post COVID landscape, some pivotal questions will be raised: How different will service look and feel in the future? How will businesses and their operations...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
News
Press Release: Jean-Baptiste Decaix appointed Chief Client Officer of the Webhelp Group, member of the Executive Committee.

Paris, June 22th 2020. With the appointment of Jean-Baptiste Decaix as Group Chief Client Officer, Webhelp reinforces its international senior management and reaffirms its ambition to become a top 3 worldwide leader. A graduate of CentraleSupélec and an executive MBA from ESSEC-Mannheim,...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
News
Jean-Baptiste Decaix appointed Chief Client Officer of the Webhelp Group, member of the Executive Committee.

Paris, June 22th 2020. With the appointment of Jean-Baptiste Decaix as Group Chief Client Officer, Webhelp reinforces its international senior management and reaffirms its ambition to become a top 3 worldwide leader. A graduate of CentraleSupélec and an executive MBA from ESSEC-Mannheim,...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
Case Studies
[Fashion] Fifty Jeans – Launch your brand without cashflow problems!

...

Read 212CAAF2-CC0E-4D90-9134-028C45BDF837 Created with sketchtool.
×

Webhelp Cookies Preference Centre

Strictly Necessary Cookies
The website requires the use of cookies for essential functional requirements and these are outlined in the cookies policy.

Enhanced Functional Cookies
Some features of this website use services provided by third parties websites. These features use cookies to implement their services on this website and may collect data about your visit to help them optimize their functionality. The Webhelp cookies policy outlines the cookies used by these services.

We have links to social networking such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
These websites are third party sites. We do not place cookies on their behalf, and do not have control over the way they collect or use your data.
We encourage you to read more about their policies:
Twitter
LinkedIn
Facebook